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Embassy building in Amman
Photo: Shalom Bar-Tal
Guard who shot 2 Jordanians in self-defense returns to Israel
After visit by Shin Bet director to the Jordanian capital and a phone call between Netanyahu and King Abdullah, diplomatic staff returns to Israel, including guard who shot dead two Jordanians after he was attacked by one of them

The diplomatic staff of Israel's embassy to Jordan, including a security guard who shot dead two Jordanians after he was attacked by one of them, returned to Israel on Monday night, bringing a 28-hour-long crisis to an end.

 

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to both Ambassador Einat Shalin and the security guard upon their return to Israel through the Allenby Bridge crossing, asked how they were and welcomed them home.

 

The Prime Minister's Office said the return of the Israeli diplomatic staff was made possible thanks to a close cooperation between Israel and Jordan.

 

Israeli embassy in Amman (Photo: David Robinger)
Israeli embassy in Amman (Photo: David Robinger)

 

Ambassador Shalin told Netanyahu the staff was "grateful for all of the efforts you put to bring us back home."

 

The security guard, Ziv, echoed her sentiments, saying "I know an entire country stands behind us. You told me yesterday I'd return home, and you calmed me down, and then it happened. I thank you whole-heartedly."

 

Netanyahu speaking to the ambassador and security guard
Netanyahu speaking to the ambassador and security guard

 

Jordanian authorities, meanwhile, announced they have completed the investigation into the incident.

 

According to a statement by Jordan's General Intelligence Directorate (GID), while two people began work to install furniture, an argument broke out between one of them—the son of the furniture shop owner—and an Israeli embassy employee who lives in the apartment.

 

The argument, according to the GID, was over a delay in completing the work at the time agreed upon, and took place  while the

landlord and the building's security guard were present.

 

At the heat of the argument, according to the Jordanians, the son of the furniture shop owner attacked the Israeli diplomat, who was wounded, and the latter responded by opening fire at the worker, wounding him and the landlord who was nearby. The two were rushed to the hospital but both succumbed to their injuries.

 

A 17-year-old Jordanian wielding a screwdriver attacked a security guard from the Israeli Embassy in Amman on Sunday. The guard shot and killed the assailant, while the owner of the building, a Jordanian doctor, was struck by a stray bullet and killed as well.

 

Jordanian security forces who arrived at the scene surrounded the embassy building in order to launch an investigation into the incident and sought to question the security guard.

 

Israel informed Jordan that according to the Vienna Convention, the security officer is immune from all criminal charges and civil suits in Jordan, and he will not be subject to arrest or interrogation.

 

While the Jordanians agreed to allow the rest of the diplomatic staff to leave the embassy, they insisted the guard remains for questioning. The diplomatic staff refused to leave without the guard.

 

Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman flew to the Jordanian capital on Monday morning to investigate the incident and speak to the guard. Argaman, accompanied by Jordanian investigators, conducted a reconstruction of events. He then returned in the late afternoon to brief the prime minister.

 

Netanyahu also spoke on the phone to Jordan's King Abdullah in an effort to resolve the crisis.

 

According to a Jordanian official, as part of the talks between Amman and Jerusalem, Israel has made promises concerning the removal of metal detectors from the Temple Mount.

 

But the Prime Minister's Office denied there was a Jordanian demand to condition the return of the guard to Israel in the removal of the metal detectors on the Temple Mount.

 



 

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